While there are those who would suggest that Egypt has now merely returned to the status quo ante of the Mubarak years’ security state, the persistence of the language and ideals of the 2011 revolution in various, often unexpected quarters reveals that the lies of the state are not left unchallenged. Indeed, the grassroots organizations taking action on issues ranging from sectarian discrimination to sexual harassment to neighborhood revitalization counter the notion that the revolution has failed.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up